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  1. Default Advice on the yosemite > death valley > vegas section of my trip

    Hi all,

    My first post on this forum although I'v read some great advice :)

    Start my road trip this Saturday of LA > San Fran > Yosemite > Vegas > San Diego but just would like som clarification on the Yosemite section of my trip.

    I'm thinking stay In Oakhurst and then do our Yosemite stuff, then drive to Bishops via Tioga Pass staying there an a night before driving Death Valley and finishing in Las Vegas?

    Can anyone advise if this is good, what's Bishops like? or would there be a better town to stay in instead? What hotels/motels do you recommend around here? Or should I drive further to cut down on our death valley drive to las vegas the next day?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    It looks like you will be fine with the drive through Death Valley from Bishop and on to Las Vegas in a single day. It looks to be a bit over five hours. This gives you a comfortable amount of time to both take the drive and explore the park during your travel.

    How long do you have for your entire trip?

  3. Default

    Hey Tim!

    We have 3 weeks for the trip broken up like this:

    5 nights in LA staying in Santa Monica
    3 nights up west coast staying Saint Obispo, Big Sur and Santa Cruz with stops at Santa Barbara and Monterey - These places may change but this is roughly what we think
    3 nights in San Francisco
    1 night Yosemite staying in Oakhurst
    1 night in Bishop
    3 nights Las Vegas including Grand Canyon - Would it worthwhile staying out at Canyon for a night?
    5 nights San Diego although possibly 1 night in Palm Springs?

    Thanks for your help

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Yosemite and Grand canyon.

    Bishop is a well located and popular stop over point between Yosemite and Vegas giving you both time to explore Tioga Pass and Death valley on route. Oakhurst offers good value lodgings although there are alternative options in Mariposa, El Portal and Groveland.

    If you only have one night you will want to make the best use of your time. If you stay in Oakhurst and leave SF early[ish] you could head straight to Yosemite valley and explore during the afternoon before heading to Oakhurst. Depending on the time, you could then visit Mariposa Grove either on the way, or next morning as you make your way to Tioga Pass. As you do so you will want to try and squeeze a couple of hours for the trip up to Glacier point where a truly wonderful view of the valley and Half Dome awaits ! So with one night you will need to get early starts and keep on the move, but it will be worth every moment. With 2 nights you would really be able to relax a little and savour this amazing NP.

    I see you have replied to Tim while I was still typing and explained your timing. If you could grab an extra night around Yosemite and have one less in SD, I would highly recommend it. If not get those early starts and make the best of the time you have !

    It would 100% be worth spending a night at the South rim of the GCNP. Most tours from Vegas go to Indian lands at the West rim, which is not part of the NP system where you get those stunning views that are seen the world over through photography. You don't get the chance to stand on the rim and witness a sunrise and sunset either. I would drive to the South rim and then head direct towards San Diego rather than back tracking to Vegas and take an overnight stop in Palm Springs, or Twentynine Palms, where you could also visit Joshua Tree NP on the way.

  5. Default

    Hey Dave,

    Thanks so much for your response!! This advice is exactly what I was looking for! Unfortunately 1 night is all we have for our Yosemite stay which really was an oversight of mine, we meet friends in both San Fran and Las Vegas on set dates and are staying with friends in San Deigo. Having looked at Yosemite and really gutted I haven't left us with more time as I know Im gonna regret it!!

    Anyway, early mornings will suffice :)


  6. Default


    Where would you recommend out of Oakhurst, Mariposa, El Portal and Groveland? Which place would be nicest, best located etc and have a good nightlife? Also is it best to beforehand or leave it til we're there? Same goes for Bishop?


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Worth checking lodging availability.

    Oakhurst is the bigger of the towns and we were only there to sleep and get a meal after a day on the road, but I don't recall much in the way of nightlife there or in Groveland and doubt you will find much in the others either. If you plan on visiting Mariposa Grove in Yosemite, Oakhurst would make sense, unless of course your budget cam manage a night in Yosemite valley and you were able to get a booking. Unlikely at this time of year, but you might strike lucky with a cancellation. It might just be that you will find tent cabins available due to cancellations [?] but be warned there have been health and safety issues recently.
    Also is it best to beforehand or leave it til we're there?
    Book lodgings do you mean ? I would certainly do an on-line seach and take names and numbers of Hotels that suit your tastes and budget so that you can at least call ahead, but if you find a deal and know that's when you are there, it might be better to know where you are headed for the night, so you can concentrate on enjoying the park as much as possible. Yosemite is popular and lodgings can get scarce nearby. Check out options by clicking on the RTA reservations link to the top right of this page.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    None of those 4 places really has much nightlife - they are small towns. El Portal is the closest to the park, but there's absolutely nothing there except a couple of lodges which are not particularly budget-friendly. Oakhurst is the largest, followed by Mariposa, then Groveland. All 3 of them are quite nice.

    Bishop has a pretty good selection of everything, but it's still not a big city. June Lake and Mammoth Lakes are considerably smaller than Bishop, but are more tourist-oriented.

    Dave: Our media is saying that the 91 "signature cabins" are closed indefinitely. Those are the ones with insulation.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Some places in Bishop

    There are a number of places to eat and dine in Bishop -- Here are some of my favorites:

    1) Gotta stop at Eric Shat's Bakkery for fresh bread and sweets

    2) The Joseph House Inn is one of my favorite B&Bs in North America. Easy walk to main street and all that is to be found there.

    3) Whiskey Creek is a bit touristy, but the food and personality of the place is really great.

    4) Mahogany Smoked Meats is located in Bishop -- you really need to try their venison jerky! Plus the place is a hoot to visit.

    5) The cafe on main street (can't remember the name) features a number of murals painted by RTA contributing artist, Bob Unkrich.

    And, not in Bishop -- but a must stop is this visitor's center in Lone Pine!


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Same here.

    Dave: Our media is saying that the 91 "signature cabins" are closed indefinitely. Those are the ones with insulation.
    Yep that's pretty much the news we are getting and that now they are aware of the situation the cabins have been closed, cleaned and disinfected and it should be OK now. However I think some people will be wary of staying there so soon after, as it's a virus that is contracted when airbourne, and without trying to be alarmist, I too would have concerns about staying in close vicinity of them at the moment.

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